Pacific Beach civic leaders attended the April 12 Metropolitan Transit System board meeting to plead their case directly to transit authorities. They requested MTS board agendize a formal action item at its next meeting to reconsider the proposed PB Farmers Market shift.
When PB market relocation was first proposed about a year ago, MTS and the San Diego Police Department both balked, noting honoring the request could prove problematic – and costly – in altering bus routes, ensuring public safety, etc.
“For more than six years, the [Tuesday] Pacific Beach Farmers Market has been a valuable asset to our neighborhood,” said Kristin Victor, a member of beautifulPB, a public nonprofit working toward community enhancement.
“The proposed move would help achieve community and citywide goals to strengthen the local economy and advance climate action goals, all while promoting safe transportation choices on one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.”
“I would just ask that MTS would work with the community and myself … to see if there’s any way, any viable alternative, that we can help accommodate this request, which would be a terrific boom for the PB community,” said District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf.
Rob Schupp, MTS director of marketing and communications, said the PB request, not being an agenda item, was not discussed by the transit board other than “Councilwoman Zapf’s supporting the issue and chairwoman Georgette Gomez saying she would start collecting facts.”
Noted Schupp: “It is the City that ultimately makes the call. MTS just cited the impacts it would have on transit service, not only to the beach communities, but how delays in PB have ripple effects, and impact riders throughout our service territory.”
Schupp added, “When this issue first came up, MTS asked for traffic control at unsignalized intersections to help ensure that we’re not stuck in gridlock, and the elimination of some parking so our large buses could safely navigate narrow streets required for detours.”
Pacific Beach Planning Group chair Henish Pulickal noted the group voted 9-4 in favor of moving the Farmers Market to Garnet in April of last year.
Longtime Pacific Beach Planning Group member Eve Anderson, was one of the four dissenters on the vote to move the Farmers Market.
“The underlying reason for beautifulPB to want that market moved is the eventual, permanent closure of Garnet Avenue,” Anderson said.“And that needs a full discussion of the whole community.”
“We want to change the personality of Garnet Avenue and have it be representative of the community,” said Victor previously. “The only way to do that is to get community residents and visitors to start supporting the businesses that are there."
“Has anyone from beautifulPB notified the folks on Felspar and Hornblend of their proposed plans to shift the Farmers Market to Garnet?” asked Anderson. “Those residents are the ones who will suddenly find themselves inundated with traffic every Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m.”